Are Your Dreams Real?
If you experience something in a dream, have you experienced it the same as in this reality?
One of my favourite movie quotes was from Morpheus in The Matrix:
“What is real? How do you define real? If real is what you can feel, smell, taste, and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”
While your dreams can be considered ‘not real’ by some, I believe they would only be classified as such by individuals AFTER they are over and you have woken up. DURING the dream, that experience seems very real. So real in fact (I would strongly argue) that I have awoke after deeply vivid dreams (sometimes emotional) with the feeling that the dream felt even more real than this waking world.
Perhaps the notion of real coincides with times of intense ‘aliveness’. Maybe one reason a dream can feel so real is because you are so truly in the moment and in total emotional free flow that when you awake and have it stripped away, it can feel so much less real.
Anything that you experience while awake turns into memories stored in your brain. And most of those memories are fuzzy at best. You can barely remember exactly everything that happened to you a couple weeks ago, let alone a year or more. Yet those experiences stay with you and form neuronets of associations and memories that influence your present interpretations of reality.
So my main question I have been debating: if you have an experience in a dream, where in that moment it feels totally real and alive, and you are able to remember it (so it arguably differs minimally from a waking experience) – is it the same as having that experience in waking reality?
Relating this question to myself personally and why I am curious about such things is that I have recently been thinking a lot about death. I am at a point in my life where I feel comfortable saying that I am not afraid of my death and want to say that I will be able to face it without fear. I strongly believe that when it is my time to go it will be my time. But I know that saying one thing, and actually following through with it are two different things.
I have had a few dreams now where I am confronted with my death. I have had incidences where I have realized that I have no other option, no way out, other than dying. In all of the cases, when I come to the conclusion that I am going to die, I fully accept that fact and face it with no fear (I might add that I have never actually died in a dream).
So am I able to say that when I am faced with my death in this life, I will be able to face it without fear? Those dreams that I had, they were extremely real to me. Sure, after I woke up I realized it was just a dream – but during the dream, in that moment, it was definitely real. I was not aware that I was dreaming and I can remember those dreams as thought they were waking experiences – they are a part of my memories at this point.
All some fun food for thought :o)